Access to clean water has become a significant challenge in Bangladesh, especially in urban areas, because of excessive groundwater extraction and ineffective water management practices. ITN-BUET and WaterAid Bangladesh jointly organised an international training and exposure visit on the ‘Urban Rainwater Harvesting System’ in response to this issue.

The training aimed to enhance capacity in all aspects of rainwater harvesting, encompassing its principles, components, planning, design, construction, maintenance, and system monitoring.

A total of 25 participants representing diverse sectors, such as academia, government bodies, NGOs, and consulting firms, along with a delegate from Nepal, attended the residential training that took place on 2-5 March 2024 at Dream Square Resort in Gazipur and ITN-BUET in Dhaka.

Mr. Partha Hefaz Shaikh, the Director of Programme and Policy Advocacy at WaterAid Bangladesh, emphasised the importance of the diverse backgrounds of the participants. He said, “Like some of you, I also come from a non-technical background, but we all share a common responsibility in tackling water-related challenges.”

Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla, the Inclusive Urban Sanitation Programme Lead of the International Water Association (IWA), highlighted the importance of rainwater harvesting and mentioned, “When I initially arrived in the UK, rainwater harvesting systems were not widely recognised, but now they are being discussed everywhere as developed countries are also facing water stress.”

The four-day training was facilitated by professionals and technical experts, including Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director, ITN-BUET, Dr. Kazi Matin Ahmed, Professor of the Department of Geology at the University of Dhaka, Dr. Anwar Zahid Director-Geology, Ground Water Hydrology, Bangladesh Water Development Board, Dr. Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Inclusive Urban Sanitation Programme Lead, IWA,  Mr. Md. Tahmidul Islam, Head of Technical Services, WaterAid Bangladesh, Mr. Yeasin Arafat, Officer-Technical, WaterAid Bangladesh, Ms. Samia Anwar Rafa, Associate Officer-Technical, WaterAid Banngladesh, Mr. Md. Azizur Rahman, Research Officer-Technical, ITN-BUET, Mr. Maharam Dakua, CEO of ASGD and Consultant of ITN-BUET, and Mr. Sadman Ahmed Sadi, Project Manager of Rain Forum.

As an integral part of the training, participants learned more from an exposure visit to the factory of Incredible Fashions Limited, a LEED (Gold)-certified garment factory in Gazipur. This visit gave the participants practical insights into rainwater harvesting within an industrial context, demonstrating stakeholders’ collaborative efforts to implement an effective rainwater harvesting system.

The training concluded with the awarding of certificates and IWA memberships to the 25 emerging rain champions, acknowledging their dedication and program accomplishments. Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed, Director at ITN-BUET; Mr. Mohammad Anwar Hossain, Chairman of IWA Bangladesh Chapter; Mr. Alauddin Ahmed, Project Manager at ITN-BUET; Mr. Pervej Sajjad, Head of Finance and Administration at WaterAid Bangladesh, graced the closing session as esteemed guests.

Participating virtually, Prof. Dr. Tanvir Ahmed expressed his hope that the newly gained expertise in rainwater harvesting systems would be effectively utilised in the participants’ respective careers. He invited those interested to engage in upcoming initiatives as promoters or facilitators.

The participants of the training have committed to taking the lead in advocating for responsible water management practices, envisioning a future where each raindrop plays a crucial role in shaping Bangladesh’s urban landscape.

Please follow and like us: